EXISTING MODELS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE
FOR ARIZONA IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
Environmental Limitations: Sustainability and the Future of Arizona
We are at a critical juncture in the evolution of our relationship to
the environment, and universities must take the lead in addressing issues
of sustainability. The sustainability of our region, our nation, and even
our planet remains in doubt. We must confront the fact that we do not
fully understand the implications of human impact on the environment,
and are not adequately prepared to determine policies regarding the intersection
of human and natural systems.
As citizens of Arizona we expect to enjoy a high quality of life. We
expect clean air, sufficient water, and unspoiled natural beauty. But
existing knowledge, technology, and policy will not ensure that our expectations
are met. Arizona must develop its own insights and technologies to manage
the desert, and its own policies to manage urban sprawl. We must find
mechanisms appropriate to Arizona and the Southwest—a major research
university has a special responsibility to seek solutions.
What will the Phoenix metropolitan area look like in fifty years? In
500 years? Arizona State University must do all it can to develop technologies
and promote policies that will allow the natural beauty of Arizona to
endure, even as millions of people move into the area in the years ahead.
Arizona State University must make an institutional commitment to take
the lead in addressing sustainability—not only in the decades ahead,
but in the centuries ahead.